China changes, Boeing needs to take stock, growth in emotional empathy, manufacturing marches on…

The COVID-19 pandemic has left no industry untouched as supply chains, transport links and staff availability were all heavily disrupted. The manufacturing industry was no exception, yet found itself in the unenviable position of being a ‘essential’ industry that was compelled to maintain uninterrupted levels of production for food, medicines and other vital supplies as the world economy ground to a halt.

Despite this, the U.S. manufacturing sector alone is expected to suffer an 18% revenue decrease this year, shaken by supply chain disruption and decreased global industrial activity. At IBA, we’ve seen our extensive client portfolio spanning Food & Beverage, Aerospace & Defence and beyond fight tirelessly to avoid major disruption to daily operations and help end-customers ensure the same level of business continuity.

Analyst spotlight on manufacturers

The manufacturing industry is constantly challenged and evolving, regardless of the pandemic. Don’t just take it from us – here’s a checklist of the top takeaways from global experts:

  1. Global consultancy firm McKinsey has performed a thorough analysis of SME recovery prospects in the U.S, identifying new business models and digital transformation as two possible solutions to solve industry vulnerability to future crises.
  2. Multiple industry analysts believe manufacturers of goods spanning children’s toys to pharmaceuticals will shift production away from China or diversify their supply chains, seeking to avoid over-reliance on the country and introduce resilience for future global challenges.
  3. International law firm Clyde & Co. anticipate leading manufacturers in the aviation sector such as Boeing will struggle to adapt to the post-COVID world, following heavy declines in air traffic and highly disparate supply and production operations.
  4. Businesses around the world have found emotional empathy during the crisis – in particular pharmaceutical firms, successfully demonstrating solidarity with local communities and collaboration with rival firms to restore trust in brands and businesses as a whole.
  5. S manufacturers have shown a willingness to pitch in to support the COVID fightback, shifting production from standard products to everything from disposable gowns to respirators and ventilators. The U.S Chamber of Commerce maintains an excellent list of innovative companies producing millions of goods to support healthcare workers and the public.
  6. Looking beyond solely the manufacturing industry, McKinsey produce daily data-driven updates tracking the evolving world of business and the economy through the COVID pandemic and beyond. Expect more insightful updates to follow as the post-COVID business landscape becomes clearer.

Hope you find some interesting reading here – it’s nice to see the trade and tech press using primary sources for their articles rather than opinions, and consultancies doing some sterling research to help us all understand what’s happening rather than talking about doom and gloom!

Simon Woolley is Account Manager at IBA International.

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